112 num­ber gets 10,000 blank calls a day, thanks to phone’s power but­ton

The Times of India (New Delhi edition) - - Times City - Sak­shi.Chand @times­group.com

New Delhi: Al­most a week af­ter the launch of Delhi Po­lice’s 112 emer­gency num­ber, it’s flooded with blank calls — 10,000 per day on av­er­age. The cops have, how­ever, man­aged to zero in on the prime trig­gers — ac­ci­den­tally press­ing the power but­ton of a mo­bile phone thrice and cu­rios­ity to check the sta­tus of the helpline.

The helpline, which was launched on Septem­ber 25 as a one-stop num­ber for all emer­gency ser­vices, is daily re­ceiv­ing 15,672 calls on av­er­age. Of this, only 5,383 calls are gen­uine. A few are also re­ceived for var­i­ous queries.

As soon as the power but­ton gets pressed thrice, an SOS call is made to 112, said a se­nior of­fi­cer. “Though the calls are un­in­ten­tional, they get reg­is­tered with the po­lice con­trol room. But most smart­phones ask users to press 8 to con­tinue. In case of un­in­ten­tional calls, this doesn’t hap­pen and the blank call does not reach any oper­a­tor. Hence, both time and en­ergy are saved,” he added.

The op­er­a­tors call back if a blank call is re­ceived more than once from a num­ber but are usu­ally told that it was made by mis­take or their child was play­ing with the phone.

The ear­lier emer­gency num­ber, 100, re­ceived 40,00050,000 calls per day. An of­fi­cer said peo­ple were get­ting to know about 112 and the op­er­a­tions unit of Delhi Po­lice was plan­ning to put up ad­ver­tise­ments to make peo­ple aware about its ser­vices.

The new num­ber has made the op­er­a­tors’ job eas­ier. In case of 100, they had to an­swer all calls. Plus, there is now a tablet in­side every PCR van and a sim­i­lar setup at the po­lice sta­tions. When­ever a call needs to be redi­rected, the oper­a­tor jots down the de­tails and with the press of a but­ton, the same mes­sage is sent to the clos­est PCR van and the po­lice sta­tion con­cerned.

“Ear­lier er­rors in wire­less com­mu­ni­ca­tions or not­ing down the de­tails some­times de­layed the help. Now every­thing is avail­able on a screen,” the of­fi­cer said. The wire­less sys­tem is still there to act as a backup in case of any sys­tem fail­ure, he added.

The helpline is a new one-stop num­ber for all emer­gency ser­vices

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